Should a Landlord Fix the A/C of the Tenants?
What to do if the A/C system in a rental property is damaged? Here is my story, which will be useful for you and give you some important tips, if you ever find yourself in a situation like this.
One of the worst things that can happen to you in the summer is to have to deal with a broken A/C. It will be also equally tough to find out that the cooling unit in your rental property is broken, too. That's what happened to me a few days ago. Last week the lessees notified me that the A/C is not working properly anymore. I had to take a tough decision- whether to fix it or not. In this area very few rental properties actually have such cooling systems.
Landlords know that there are not too many things that can broke in a condo compared to a house. However, A/C will be definitely on top of my list with items I don't want to broke at any means. Repairs or replacement are both expensive, so it is a very delicate situation as you don't want to leave your tenants like this during a hot summer. When I was living in this condo, I rarely used the appliance. I could have told my tenants that it is not working properly or something like this. But as I did not, I somehow felt responsible to pay for it.
My first job was to contact specialists and to ask how much the repair would cost. They told me it will be like a couple of hundreds of dollars. The sum was not that frightening, but what stopped me from repairing it was the fact it was more than 20 years old. So, I didn't see much sense in investing money in such an old installation. Then I asked how much it would be to replace the unit. The quotes I was given were $2650$, 3600$ and 5200$.
According to the rental laws I was sure I am not obliged to fix the system, but there was something beyond that made me interfere. This happened in the beginning of a 2 years lease, so I did not want to disappoint my tenants from the very beginning. Also I am not the type of guy who always is hunting for profit. In my opinion making your lessees happy is part of your responsibilities being a landlord. I believe that if you treat them well, they will do the same for you and keep your property in good condition. Even if they do not have enough time to clean the place on a regular basis, they can hire vacate cleaning in Melbourne specialists for the purpose.
So, what I actually did was to pay for the lowest quote ( 2650$) and get my A/C system replaced. Of course, it was a serious decision, but I think this was the right choice in a long term. I remember the days when I was a tenant and my lessor took forever to respond even to simple requests we had for him. In this situation I managed to solve the problem within a 4 days after the tenants called me. They were also pleased with the adequate and fast actions I took and promised to renew the contract after the expiration date of this one.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tom Dwan is a consultant in a cleaning company in Melbourne.
His resume is long enough and also includes working for the furniture
giant IKEA and other smaller companies. In his spare time he likes to play
chess, football and Texas hold em.